Technical Report

 

Service life of treated and untreated fence posts : 1976 progress report on the post farm Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/technical_reports/5q47rq293

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  • Eight series of untreated posts (including five series of steel), 18 series of nonpressure-treated posts, and II series of pressure-treated posts remain in test at the Oregon State University post farm in western Oregon. So far all posts have failed in 36 untreated series, 33 nonpressure-treated series, and 2 pressure-treated series. Causes of failures since 1949 have been: fungi, 75 percent of failures; fungi and termites, 16 percent; fungi and insects other than termites, 6 percent; and termites, 2 percent. Some steel posts have failed because of corrosion. Some series of wood posts deserve special mention for their notably good durability, sometimes the result of simple preservative treatments. Exceptionally durable series include some that were pressure-treated with creosote (series 7, 23) and whose average life should exceed 50 years, as well as untreated posts of Osage-orange that should have an average life of 45 years or more. Soaking posts as little as 3 hours, depending on species, in solutions of creosote or pentachlorophenol has lengthened the average lives of lodgepole pine (series 86), Douglas-fir (94 ), and black cottonwood (87). With that simple treatment, these 26 year old series have had few or no failures, and their average lives should easily exceed 30 years. A similarly soaked series (88) with bark left on the upper portions of the posts should last about 28 years. Brushing undried posts with Osmosalts (series 75), a convenient treatment, will extend their average life beyond 30 years.
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